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Safe Plumbing Options

 
steward
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Location: Kingston, Canada (USDA zone 5a)
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Few weeks ago, I helped a friend doing some plumbing and realized that most newish (<10 years old) houses are now using some plastic piping whereas my older house uses copper.

I cannot help to think that neither plastic (pvc, pex, etc.) nor copper are very good options, especially since water sits in the pipes for a while.

Anybody has ideas on alternative plumbing solutions apart from the wooden bucket and well or perhaps I am mistaken and there is no issue here.
 
pollinator
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Location: Central Texas USA Latitude 30 Zone 8
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I think this is an important subject for people who want to limit their exposure to toxins. I'm not sure one could afford much truly non-toxic plumbing, which might need to be stainless steel*, ceramic, or glass. Bamboo might work in some situations.

*my husband says he think to weld stainless steel fluxes containing cadmium might be needed.

I hope someone very familiar with the properties of various materials will respond in this thread!

 
Adrien Lapointe
steward
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I think some old pipes were made from iron, hence rusty water coming out of faucets in old buildings.

Not sure if glass piping would be much fun to have...
 
pollinator
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PEX and copper may not be perfect, but they are the lesser of evils known today.

Stainless could be done with compression fittings--but the cost and embodied energy would be just as bad or worse in the big picture.
 
Mother Tree
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Stainless steel with compression fittings is pretty well the standard in Portugal, and for about the same price as copper.
 
R Scott
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Burra Maluca wrote:Stainless steel with compression fittings is pretty well the standard in Portugal, and for about the same price as copper.



Cool. That means there is hope.
 
Posts: 63
Location: NW South Dakota - Zone 4b
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Much to my dismay, I just installed PEX water lines in my newly acquired house. I did some searching a few months ago and I couldn't find much for options when it came to water lines. PEX, copper and stainless steel were the only 3 options I came across. I'm not really crazy about any of these options since it appears that all of them with eventually leach some kind of toxic gick into your water supply. I had a friend tell me about some kind of glass water lines. Not sure if there is any truth to this but if there is, it sounds really pricey (the glass fittings have to be custom blown during instillation).

I like the idea of bamboo, anyone know if this method has ever worked??
 
pollinator
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Weston Ginther wrote:
I like the idea of bamboo, anyone know if this method has ever worked??



I know that areas of Manhattan or maybe Brooklyn has/had bamboo water pipes. They were like 100 years old and not broken and the city wanted to replace them. The residents threw a fit.
 
Cj Sloane
pollinator
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Adrien Lapointe wrote:
I cannot help to think that neither plastic (pvc, pex, etc.) nor copper are very good options, especially since water sits in the pipes for a while.



The solution is to run the water for like 30 seconds. Especially if it's for drinking.
 
Cj Sloane
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Adrien Lapointe wrote:I think some old pipes were made from iron, hence rusty water coming out of faucets in old buildings.



Drainage pipes can be cast iron but I don't think potable water pipe would be. Our water comes out rusty sometimes but that's because of iron in the water from the well. Older building may have used lead in the sodder so another reason to let the water run for a bit.
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